Monday April 18 2016
Euro 2016 Squad Selector: Ranocchia

In the run-up to Euro 2016, Football Italia will be asking who Antonio Conte should select in his Italy squad. Mohamed Nassar comes to the defence of the much-maligned centre-back.

There is no doubt that Andrea Ranocchia is one of the Nazionale’s most divisive defenders at the moment. His supporters point to the fact that, when mistake free, Andrea’s performances on the pitch can be on par with those of Italy’s greats. However, so mistake prone is Andrea’s game that his detractors will fervently claim that they more than cancel out any positive impact throughout any given match.

Ranocchia first came into the spotlight after a strong season on loan from Genoa to Bari in 2009-2010. The tall defender made the high profile move to then treble holders Inter in January of 2011. He was touted as Italy’s next high profile world class defensive offering. At just 22 and in a squad that contained such glittering names as Lucio, Walter Samuel and Marco Materazzi, observers believed that Ranocchia would be given the room to develop and learn from some of the world’s best central defenders without carrying the burden of have to perform immediately.

Inter’s subsequent downward spiral and the famous Moratti coaching carrousel of 2011-2014 did nothing to help Ranocchia’s development. The once young prospect suddenly found himself in mid-career without having come close to fulfilling his potential. Ranocchia decided that in order to raise his bar, he needed to challenge himself more and so accepted Inter’s captaincy after Il Capitano Zanetti’s retirement, a move that ultimately spelled the demise of his tenure at Inter. Ranocchia is a soft spoken, well mannered and gentlemanly sort of player, and the burden of the first post-Zanetti captain’s armband eventually proved too heavy for him to bear.

At Sampdoria Ranocchia seems to be finding his feet again, he’s playing consistently and without the crushing pressure he felt at Inter. Andrea’s defensive style is identical to his physique; usually quite graceful but lanky and clumsy when out of position.

It is no secret that Antonio Conte is one of Ranocchia’s biggest fans, which is curious seeing that Ranocchia is very different to the quintessential Conte defender; fast and tough. Perhaps that’s why Conte is almost certainly going to give Ranocchia a call-up, because sandwiched in between Juventus pair Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci, Andrea can offer the Azzurri a different option and the skill-set to shape the back three differently.

With Ranocchia in the side, Italy can sit back deeper when necessary and eliminate a large portion of any opposing side’s aerial threat. Perhaps not a starter in the Euros, Ranocchia will almost certainly be present with the squad in France.

Check out the rest of our Squad Selector blogs and have your say by clicking here.

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Have your say...
are you kidding? he makes too mistakes and we can't have that in a major tournament.
on the 21st April, 2016 at 2:54am
are you kidding me? bring rugani instead geez.
on the 21st April, 2016 at 2:42am
I can't wait for the Montolivo article.
on the 20th April, 2016 at 8:51am
italy is set for defence maybe issue with fullbacks however cb options seem really strong. the issue is up front the likes of balotelli immobile g rossi seem so average. at the moment giovinco berradi and el shaarawy seem like the most logical options.
on the 19th April, 2016 at 7:41pm
Pointless article, the 1st paragraph gives you the answer, no midfield, defence or keeper will play with trust & comfort with a player who makes howlers one second, plays a great block or tackle the next. Midfield will drop deep to compensate & Buffon will be called off his line into stupid situations, cant happen especially in a team like Italy. He stays, bring Rugani in his place who is future & knows how to play alongside Bonnuci, Chiellini, Buffon etc. because he trains with them every week.
on the 19th April, 2016 at 5:35pm
No. Rugani and Acerbi deserve it before Ranocchia.
on the 19th April, 2016 at 2:28pm
Hilarious stuff. Ranocchia is right up there with Burdisso and Chivu in the top 3 worst Inter CB's of the new millennium. There is no "if he can stay error free" for these players, they have the combined IQ of a hummingbird. They will ALWAYS do moronic stuff, because they are morons. On the other hand, the current italy squad is pretty pathetic and wont go far in the euro anyways, so i suppose Ranocchia could be called up for comedic purpose.
on the 18th April, 2016 at 9:05pm
He couldn't break into average Inter he's considered for a spot in the national team?
on the 18th April, 2016 at 6:06pm
Is this a joke? Not even good enough for Serie B.
on the 18th April, 2016 at 4:16pm
No... just no. His 21 caps are 21 more than he deserves. Romagnoli should be the next name on the depth-list, after the Juve cohort. There is little to gain, if anything, from Ranocchia's inclusion in a Italy squad. He may have polished his game a little since joiningSamp, but a polished turd is still a turd. The fact he seems to improve without the lime-light hardly suggests that an international championship would see his best form.
on the 18th April, 2016 at 3:50pm

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